Thursday, December 31, 2009

As 2009 comes to an end...

...I smile to myself. This year has been great to me. Life has so many unexpected twists and turns but it's all about how you handle whatever comes your way. There've been times when my spirit was so broken that the ONLY thing that made any sense in my life was to pray. (By the way, from that experience I wrote the song "Your love is enough" and it is one of my favorites!)

I smile, in hindsight, because I am watching life unfold. God knows EXACTLY what He's doing, even when things are not going according to OUR plan. I am a firm believer in "everything happens for a reason!"

I have met quite a few wonderful people this year and even re-connected with so many others (thanks to Facebook! lol) and another highlight of this year is meeting Clydene Jackson. She is an incredible singer/songwriter with a long list of credits (everything from commercials to movies); most recently Avatar! She is really sweet with a great spirit and it was so worth being stuck in 2 hr traffic into the city, not to mention the risk of getting a ticket for parking by a

Clydene Jackson (center)

And what I'm about to tell you is CLASSIC so I had to share...

A friend of mine isn't speaking to his mother (they haven't spoken in a little over a year)..anyway, his wife tries to reach out to her so they send her a postcard for Christmas. She mails the postcard back to them with this note at the back of it...(pictured below)

(it reads: "Shove it!!! You call that a Christmas card? Get lost!!!
Even my apt # was wrong
Smoking pot again?")

I thought it was the funniest thing...the kinda joke you'd read only in e-mails, but this is for real!!  Hahahahaha...he's considering writing her back to ask "Does this mean you don't love me anymore?" lolol


I extend all the best wishes from my heart and my family to yours.


Cheers to 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, NYC

I thoroughly enjoyed this holiday! It was festivity after festivity and I was able to see almost all of my family...which truly is a blessing.
My 2 week vacation started off in the city! Some of my fam were able to make it to Ann Ruckert's Holiday Concert to see me perform, despite the BLIZZARD (THANKS SO MUCH GUYS!), then we went 'stravancing' (luv this word Ann) around town!

My aunt & cuz waiting in line to skate at the Rockefeller

Carolers in Saks

Ange & I goofing around while we shop

My son in our backyard, enjoying the aftermath of the blizzard

Even the dog wanted in on the action lol

My son's reaction to my C/mas music! lol

Wondering what's in those boxes with his name on it lol

And below are my goddaughters with some of their presents...



I luv my family! They're crazy, fun, loving...did I mention crazy? lol But I luv them all!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Top 10 things that annoy me about the holidays...

10. Not because you're my child's teacher means you deserve a present! First of all, if my son was Little Johnny then maaaaaaaaaaybe I'd understand but you get PAID to do this so don't send home any flyers saying that you should get a gift and then tell me how much I should contribute! (Class parents, you WILL be paintballed for organizing that mess!)

9. The grinches & the scrooges: Listen, I don't give a flying facockta why you don't wanna celebrate this year (death or serious issues non-inclusive)...if it's because you spent all your money on designer clothing or some other random mess and now you're broke, please step're boring me and I'd rather watch paint dry!

8. I know it's not always easy to get a babysitter, but I am trying to shop IN PEACE! I don't wanna hear you're whiney little brat while I'm shopping. I would put a cork in my kid if I have to, I expect you to do the same!

7. Speaking of shopping in peace, do I REALLY need to hear your convo with Tiquana bout where she bees at? Or that Jimbob would just lurrrrrrrrrrvvvv the plaid shirt you're getting him instead of the checkered one? You and your cell phone need to step outside and freeze to death!

6. I used to be highly opposed to leashes for I know why they make them. Invest in one! When I pull out an item from the clothing rack I DON'T wanna see your little beady-eyed kid peering back at me. Cute to you; highly annoying to me!

5. If they bounce that balloon my direction, I WILL pop the s**t! This is a mall NOT a playground! (P.S. I have no problem using WWF moves on lil kids!)

4. When you get to the front of the line, please be prepared! GET OFF THE CELL and have coupons, money, credit card etc in hand...and NO you cannot run back through the store to grab one more item you idiot...other people have things to do...back of the line for you!

3. Holiday traffic is already brutal so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't saunter across the parking lot like you're in your bedroom! I will run you over!

2. Holiday concerts - SAAAAAVE the speeches! We all know that we're only there to see our own little adorable precious child. All the other classes? yawn! So let's just move this along and thank the 100 faculty members individually on your own time.

1. HOLIDAY SWEATERS!!! If you're not over 60, that is UNACCEPTABLE ! If I see a Christmas tree WITH LIGHTS on your sweater, or Rudolph's nose blinking at me, I will punch you in your chest!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Countdown to Christmas

I LUVVVVVVV Christmas!!! Somehow there's a different feeling in the air. I'm also reminded of my childhood Christmases in Trinidad. Now Christmas on an island is verrrrrrrrrrrry different from Christmas in the USA.

Firstly, the weather!   "Santa" ain't riding no sleigh, he is paranging! ("Parang" is a type of music played in Trinidad, mainly around Christmas, and derives from our hispanic heritage. "Paranging" is pretty much partying from house to house... yes, Trinis use ANY excuse to party!) We used to have some traditional Christmas music in our house too but mostly parang.

Then there was the re-decorating...EVERY... SINGLE... YEAR! It is tradition to re-vamp the ENTIRE HOUSE!!! Honestly, I think it was just a fancy form of CHILD LABOR! Yet we had sooooooo much fun doing it. We'd have to scrub alllll the steps (& we had a wrap-around veranda so you know they got rid of us for at least a day or two!)...then paint it! We'd get new furniture for the front porch or just re-paint what we had if it was in good condition. My grandfather was in charge of the yard and he made sure it was in pristine condition! So he'd hire young men in the neighborhood to take care of the more arduous stuff and he'd take care of the rest.

Granny was the homemaker. I don't ever remember her telling us what we had to do. There was subtle, yet not-so-subtle, delegation in the house. They would buy the paint and we just knew that EVERY room had to be re-painted. Granny would buy bolts of fabric and sew new curtains for every single room (drapes and valances inclusive too honey! Trust me, JC Penny had nothing on my grandma). We mopped, polished and dusted every nook and cranny in preparation for the new knick knacks. New doilies (which I HATE btw! Why? I just do), new tablecloth for the dining room with Christmassy placemats, the "good" dishes came out of hiding, new bathroom rugs and last, but not least, the tree!

We had the nerve to put up Christmas trees with fake snow! (My grandparents never actually saw snow but hey, we had snow on the tree.) Some years it was a Charlie Brown tree (fake of course, replete with snow!)

And the fooooood! NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING, beats Christmas morning with home-made bread and ham, with just a touch of pepper sauce on the side. Or pastelles, black cake (a.k.a. rum cake or fruit cake), sorrel, ponche de creme (eggnog)...mmmm the list goes on. (By the way, that was the ONLY time I'd ever see walnuts in the house so I O-D'd on them!)

Then after breakfast, (only on Christmas morning AFTER breakfast) we could open our presents. I was such a dummy! We didn't have a chimney and do you EVER think I questioned how Santa got there? NOPE! We had windows called louvres...

Notice the slats of glass?

....and I could care less how he squeezed his fat butt to get in as long as I saw my name on presents under that tree! (My son, on the other hand, takes the time to think about this stuff). But it never bothered a matter of fact only a couple years ago I realized I was getting BOOTLEG BARBIE! My friend (Ana) and I discovered one day that we were both jipped! (She's Portuguese and our backgrounds are so similar). You know the "Barbie" that's HOLLOW?? Yup! That's what WE got! (try giving that to a kid nowadays and see if they don't beat you with the same damn doll!)
But at that time, all I cared about was being off from school and happy that Santa didn't think I was bad that year ;)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Me, Heineken & Thanksgiving

So the beginning of Thanksgiving week I got a cold. I received a lot of food donations (thanks so much to everyone who supported the food drive by the way) so when I left work I rushed over to the church to deliver the stuff.
As I was hauling bags from my car to the church kitchen I wondered why a lady who was there didn't offer to help me, nor did she look too pleased by the interruption. Rather unusual at a church but no biggie...I was anxious to get home to a hot shower, hot tea and my comfy bed! Just as I had placed the last bag on the counter and was wishing the lady a Happy thanksgiving, she said "Uhm, I'm going to take this stuff out of the box and you could take the box with you." It was then that I realized that I had delivered food to a church in a Heineken box!

The infamous box!

As if it would save me from embarrassment I started to explain that it was a co-worker's, but the lady had this accusatory look as if to say "mmm hmm you're a lush, just admit it!"

Then there was the parade...I was so determined to make it out there but instead was home battling the cold. So my son and I DID in fact see Dora and company, albeit from the comfort of home. It was GORGEOUS that day so I'm glad I felt better by the time I was due to hang out with my fam.

Now you know there's always that one uncle that you're embarrassed by - well this isn't the uncle (I have another one) but he's certainly working his way there because he everytime he sees me he regales the story of the day I peed on his foot.
 Infamous foot!

It's one of those stories that you'd hope stay in the fam but I just know the day I win my first Grammy my uncle would be telling someone "I remember the day she peed on my foot..." and we're not talking about when I was a child either...ok!?! You want the story, talk to my uncle...cause you ain't gettin it here lol but that moment certainly bonded us FOR LIFE ! lol

Here he is rummaging through old photographs...we had a BLAST laughing at our outfits and hairstyles from back in the day (hopefully those NEVER leave the premises! I saw a pic of me with a unibrow! NOT...CUTE!)

Here he is (minus da pee) pictured with Aunty Sherry.

Here I am with my crazy aunt Pat (and I ain't kidding when I say crazy lol)

Aunts Pat and Ange

And the best part of the day...the food and desserts!

Sigh....I heart Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

S.O.T.M. !

SOTM - Student of the month!

My baby's Student of the Month...just having a proud momma moment and wanted to share. The school organized a surprise luncheon for the children. A student from each grade was chosen as SOTM based on academic performance etc and the parents were invited to share the moment with their child.
Poor kids had no idea what they were walking into because the Principal escorted the group to a special room with no imagine the shock of walking into a room with the PRINCIPAL then seeing your PARENTS!
Well soon afterwards they were relieved when they found out the lunch was in their honor.
Of course today I would have a bad hair day and I think when they took pics I might have some lettuce stuck in my teeth, but hey my son didn't care. His mom was there! (Although for the group photo he did whisper to me that I "better smile nicely because the picture's going to be on the school website")

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"I'm not going if we're not shopping"...???...

(Not the actual photo from the convo but pretty much the saaaaame expression)

...this is what my son said when I told him I want to take him to the parade in the city for Thanksgiving. WHAT???? There are so many things wrong with this!

As his words reached my ears I felt my body go motionless, all but my head which spun around like I was the chic in the Exorcist! (not pictured here because I am terrified of horror movies)

Was I hearing correctly? WHAT?? Now please don't misunderstand, I am all for him having an opinion (which does not mean he gets his way but I do listen to what he has to say) and sometimes I let him decide if he wants to go certain places or not, but this was NOT one of those moments. So while I felt my head spinning on its axil, I had to remind myself to breathe, be calm but clear. We have never gone to the parade and I think it's something we should experience. Like I said to him, if he never wants to go back he doesn't have to, but at least he experienced it. (Mind you, he NEVER wants to go ANYWHERE and when he gets there this is the kid who doesn't want to leave!)

But what stood out to me more than his protest, was his snooty way of telling me that he was not going unless we were going shopping....excuuuuuuuuuuse me?????????? I wondered, "who's da brat and who would it hurt more if I knocked him into 2010?"

Now I confess, in my quest to ensure he enjoys all that life has to offer, I expose him to a variety of things...when we take vacations, we VACATION...we enjoy fine dining, we've been to plays, we go shopping, all that good stuff but the LAST thing I want to do is raise a brat!?! Firstly, like I always tell him, I ain't married to Diddy! I work my butt off in order for us to enjoy these things (uhh okay so if you've actually seen my butt, you'd beg to differ but I digress...)

I want him to travel and experience different cultures, I encourage him to try different foods, and I take him any and everywhere that I could afford to...but this response is totally unacceptable. This was when I pulled out the scroll with the long boring "that is not what life's about" blahblahblah parent speech. I'm sure he only heard "you're going!" (blanked out when I said we'll be visiting family and the rest of my monologue) and tuned back in when I said "and THEN we're coming home"...HOWEVER he will realize just how serious I am when he is in zero degree weather trooping with thousands others looking at stupid ass Dora and Spongebob balloons overhead! (honestly I hope the weather is nice that day)

Granted this is also a child who has to do well in school academically, be well-behaved and doesn't get what he wants JUST because he asks for it, or when he wants it because sometimes he doesn't.

What's even more stunning is that I go to great lengths to show him the flip side of the coin and to help others in need etc...where does this sense of entitlement come from? Well little does HE know that there will be more to it this Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am on a mission...and I will keep you posted on that!

Disclaimers: (1) No kids were hurt before or during the typing of this blog.
                   (2) Dora and the beloved Spongebob are in no real danger.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What does Thanksgiving mean to you?

When I think of Thanksgiving, I IMMEDIATELY think of food! Do you?  (yes, I know I'm talking about food......again :)
I associate the holiday with yummy traditional food and hanging out with family and friends...immediate, extended and inherited.
Some of my fave dishes are my aunt Sherry's stuffing (and she holds on to that recipe for dear life!!), my great-grandmother's collard greens and her sweet potato pie (which I am CONVINCED has crack in it!)
And these are just SOME, ok?
Leave it up to Aunty Sherry and we'd be at her house from breakfast right through the weekend! (hey, no complaints here). We have such a good time there and let me tell you...she can cook her tiny heiny off!! I am not a fan of turkey so I am always elated to go to her house where it's not just the traditional dishes but so many other dishes to choose from...I mean it's really Thanksgiving HEAVEN!
People bar-hop...well I house-hop! I used to at least for T/giving, but now I have my own traditions with my son. Since neither of us care for the turkey, I tried lamb instead one year, and I was so proud when he actually REQUESTED that on the menu. (Can you picture my proud mom grin?) Looked something like this...

It feels really good to create these memories with him. To know that "Mom's cooking" and making his favorites?...I luv it!!! (Just in case you're wondering why I'm so happy about this, I DID NOT LIKE COOKING AT ALL! I learned how to especially for moments like these...and although I don't think I'd be the next Rachel Ray anytime soon, at least I know I could handle my own in the kitchen now.............insert applause here).
I absolutely LOVE the holidays! From Thanksgiving all the way into the New Year, I am ridiculously happy! (I already started playing Christmas music and my son has relegated that to the confines of our home...he told me that I am NOT allowed to play it in the car until AFTER Thanksgiving! Where is his mother? I have a thing or two to tell her) anyhoo...
I love everything about the holidays. The crisp winter air while you're shopping (translation: I'm peering through the window from the pavement) or the Christmas carols (sidenote: what's up with people wearing holiday sweaters????? That's another blog in itself) and visiting family or family visiting...whatever - I luv it all!

And while we're getting our grub on, let's remember to give thanks and give back. Although I am a firm believer in being thankful every day of our lives, no matter what we are going through, this holiday in particular reminds us even more be thankful and to give to those less fortunate. Now during the year it's easy to get consumed in our own lives so I urge you this holiday to remember someone else. There are so many people who are homeless, jobless, who don't have families or loved ones to celebrate with, who are ill or depressed or whatever the case may be, and YOU can contribute in some way to make their life a little better.
Yes, we are facing a recession, times are tough and unpredictable but STILL there are SEVERAL ways in which we can help. Every year I organize a food drive. I ask each person to donate just one can/non-perishable item and I receive tremendous support. We've donated to churches and other organizations as a result. You can do the same in your community. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, help an elderly neighbour, or donate to your local places of worship or clubs etc. There is ALWAYS some way that we can help.
By the way, what's your favorite Thanksgiving memory/tradition? Leave a comment - I'm interested to hear it!
Have a Happy Blessed Thanksgiving !

Monday, November 9, 2009

MY mommy!

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. She passed away when I was 3 years old...she lost her fight against breast cancer. I was so young that I didn't really get a chance to know her, but I still get a warm loving feeling every single year on her birthday.
I'm not sure how you could love someone you never really knew but I loved my mom. Maybe it was from all the stories I'd heard about her; how fiercely she loved me, how she took me practically everywhere she went, how beautiful she was, her pretty smile, or how she didn't need makeup because she was such a natural beauty, or even how much of a prankster she was (she once brought a dead bat into the house to scare her siblings!)...I dunno, I just loved her.

My beautiful mom

I used to miss her a lot more when I was younger...Mothers' Day...any day...every day that a little girl needs her pick her up from talk to her about boys...even to be annoyingly overprotective as mothers can be....I longed for that so badly. Now that is not to take away, in any way, from the rest of my family who've been there for me. I must say that I was blessed with aunts and grandparents and close relatives that all loved me and contributed in some way, and I am forever grateful. It's just that sometimes nothing beats having your mom there, you know? (Ok MINUS the mommy dearests lol).

I sometimes wonder what life would have been like if SHE raised me. I could never understand how some daughters and mothers don't get along, while others are practically best friends. I wonder what kind of relationship my mom and I would have had.
I mean here she is trying to get through to me and clearly I'm not listening...I'm focused on my photo op! (see pic below)

Mommy and me

I know that everything happens for a reason, and for that reason alone I find comfort.

I now have the opportunity to share a life with my son. I have become the annoyingly overprotective mom, I give him waaaaaay too many kisses (and he has CLEARLY protested - believe me!! lol), I tell him I love him every single day and I try to be the best mom I could be. It's not always easy or fun, and sometimes I KNOW he wishes he could ship ME to Madagascar or somewhere but hey HE HAS TO DEAL WITH least until he moves out! lol

Me and my M

And by the way I was VERY proud of my baby pictures until one day I showed my brother-in-law who said I look like a baby hippo!

(The more I look at this pic I think I DO resemble the hippo from Madagascar ! That little s**t! lol)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Women's Rights

I am always amazed, or rather disconcerted, when I hear or read of a woman being "ALLOWED" to do something. Perhaps it's because I was not raised in that type of culture/era, where women need permission to do whatever it is they wanted (I do not think my personality would lend way to someone blatantly dictating what I do in my life; in some countries it is what it is...and the price for resistance could even be death!)
Although it happens in many places around the globe (read "Inside the Kingdom" by Carmen Bin Laden for a really in-depth perspective) lately I've been drawn to the story of the women in Mali (the 7th largest country in Africa).
They have been fighting for over 10 years to have their laws changed, yet their President Amadou Toumani Toure refused to sign the law and returned it to Parliament for review (his reason? for the sake of national unity! Apparently he was in support of the new law but the protests by Muslim groups have forced him to send the law back for another review).

President Amadou Toumani Toure
(Google Images)

What unity? Ok, so their laws prohibit discrimination against color, race, language or gender, however female genital mutilation (a.k.a. FGM), violence and trafficking in women are still serious issues in Mali.

Female genital mutilation is common...yes COMMON, and is performed on girls between the ages of six months to six years. Spousal abuse, rape and sexual harrassment are also common, not to mention prostitution, which is legal.

Marriage and Divorce is another big issue in itself. In the United States alone, people jump in and out of marriage faster than a cat in water. Try having your marriage arranged for you when you're as young as nine years old! Girls under the age of 15 can marry with parental consent or permission from a judge. Add to that the complications which arise from FGM and you have a recipe for disaster during childbirth (infections etc).
As for divorce? Women have to pay about $60 (which is a substantial amount of money to them) just to start the process. (The cost to initiate divorce is that high in order to make it almost impossible for them to do so).

Under the new law, women no longer have to obey their husbands, they have equal rights and the minimum age for marriage is raised to 18.
Apparently, mostly Muslim groups are against the new laws (more than 90% of Mali's population is Muslim) hence all the controversy.

So, how can you help? There are many options available...from buying their products so the funds could be donated to the women in Mali to hosting a fundraiser event yourself.
Now I know in these crazy times there are a lot of scams out there and people are skeptical about donating, especially with the economy the way it do a little research.
Here's a site to get you started:
And if your finances are a bit strained right now, then volunteer. There are always ways to help.

Remember: One person cannot do everything but everybody can do something!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tickled Pink Event Premiere!

This past Sat I attended Tickled Pink. An event hosted by my girl Natalie Lamming, and Anika Thomas, to support Breast Cancer Awareness.

Natalie and I
(do you see my little pink top underneath? :)

It was a fun event considering all the raaaaaaaaaaaaaaain and I was very impressed by all the talent in the room!

Khalilah Music did some 'conscious' music and the acapella segment really showcased her beautiful voice on a powerful song she wrote about Darfur.

Khalilah Music

2Intrigue was in da house and did a rendition of "Halo" that would make Beyonce proud.


Kevon Carter did a nice tribute to the one and only MJ accompanied by Shawn Noel on guitar.

Kevon Carter

Shawn Noel
(he was grooving so much I couldn't get a good shot of his face!)

And my absolute fav was Kerry D Drummer!!! This dude is absolutely SICK!!! Do you hear me???
He is phenomenal and he KILLED his performance!

Kerry playing along with the DJ
Whatever the DJ played, Kerry was ready with the rhythm

Jeanille Bonterre was the hostess/emcee for the night and did an absolutely fantastic job.

Here's Jeanille, pretty in pink!
 (and we found out that we both love the same restaurant!
Hey good food is good food!)

There were also some very touching moments...a poem read by Nats and a few heartfelt words from Anika and Natashia (a breast cancer survivor).

(I heart Natalie's dress!)

Anika Thomas
 whose grandmother passed away from the disease


And some other highlights of the night:

My cousin about to inhale some hor d'oeuvre
(yes it runs in da fam!...and by the way, they had a delicious saltfish - a.k.a. bacalhau - pastry that I am going to track down where I could order those from!)


Why was this sign in the ladies bathroom? After all I think we were inside a church hall.
(Please ignore the alcohol seen in any of the photos!)

3. A lady in the bathroom complimented me on how well I wash my hands! Now you know things are bad in this country when someone is impressed with how you wash your hands.
PLEASE take all the necessary steps to stay clean and healthy people esp. with the swine flu season still looming around.

My crazysexycool cuz and I...........wonder where we'll head to next?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Music, The City & Galia Arad!

Jay-Z and Alicia nailed it with their tribute to NY..."no place in the world that can compare".
We (in the Tri-state) are so lucky to be able to enjoy NYC anytme we want!
Recently I was invited to an AES music party in the city by my girl, Galia Arad. The food was great, so was the music, and we met a few, uhm, interesting people. We laughed so much that night and had SUCH a good time!

Galia and I at the party

I DID mention the food, right? Well, here's Galia and I more focused on the food than anything else.

Galia inhaling something with tzatziki sauce

Me, taking advantage of a sausage!

THEN this weekend I went out to Banjo Jim's to hear Galia perform and I dragged my aunt along (EVERYONE appreciates great music!!).
She was delighted to have met, and I quote, the "beautiful" Galia with such a "beautiful" voice!

(Galia at Banjo Jim's)
uh, no idea whose head of hair is in this shot!

Galia, with her sis on vocals :)

Her cd staaaaays in my car! I luv her voice and her songs and I am so excited for her on her journey. Already looking forward to her next cd! "Ooh la, ooh la baby, ooh la, ooh la baby, ooh ooh ooh oooooooooooh, ooh la ooh la la!!"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Living Legends

It is a very humbling experience to be in the company of a living legend. Your mind tends to wander, well mine does at least, as to what makes that person the way they are...absolutely fascinating...and as you hear their story...when you reallllly listen, you find that it simply took courage, perseverance and an inexplicable amount of fortitude.
Well I have been fortuitous enough to have met a few people that have the qualitites of a "living legend". However, in the past few weeks I have met two very interesting women in the music industry, who despite eeeeeeeeverything they've been through, they are successful and guess what...happy!
Meet Morgan Ames...
Morgan was a guest speaker at a music workshop I attend in the city, hosted by the one, THE ONLY, Ann Ruckert!
It wasn't the first time I'd met Morgan; she had been a guest speaker before, but this time she shared her life story as opposed to just her music career.
She has worked with so many exceptional people (Quincy Jones, Vanessa Williams and Bette Midler to name just a few) and remember "Sister Act"? Yup, she has worked on that too!
Yet, what was most impressive about Morgan, was her life story. Yes, she has worked with the creme de la creme in the music and film industries, but she has overcome so many obstacles in her life to get her where she is today.

Morgan Ames right next to me and seated below her is Lady Ann Ruckert. Also, pictured here are very talented songwriters/musicians in NYC whom I have the pleasure of sharing time and space with on a weekly basis.
(Click on pix if you wanna see us up close and personal :)

Then there is Diane Schuur a.k.a. "Deedles"...
Diane is a Two-time Grammy Award Winner, and an incredible jazz singer and pianist. Ms Schuur has performed with phenomenons such as B.B. King, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder! (and I don't know if you've ever heard of QUINCY JONES, but yeah, him too!)
Now Diane's story was so overwhelming to me because she was blinded at birth due to an accident at the hospital! When you hear HER life story, you will NEVER EVER complain about not being able to do anything again! She played and sang for us as she regaled us with snippets from her life. This was a HUGE slice of humble pie for me who is still struggling to become a virtuoso on the piano, ok?! :)
And by the way, I know at the beginning of this blog I mentioned TWO interesting women...but I have to pay homage to the powerhouse that is Ann Ruckert.
When you meet her you would never think that such a pleasant lady would have such a fighting spirit. She has a heart of gold, but let me tell you, I would NOT wanna be left alone in the ring with her! :)
She has helped me tremendously as a songwriter and I luvvv her dearly. This paragraph certainly doesn't do justice to such a wonderful person but then I'd have to write a book...My Life with Ann or something like that.......hmmmm!